Speaking of Life 5022 | Born Again
As a Christian, you are probably familiar with the metaphor of being “born again.” Jesus used it when talking to Nicodemus to try to explain the radical difference that one must undergo to enter the kingdom of God. Peter later used the same image to encourage a church that was being treated as exiles because of their faith in Christ.
The image of being born again works on both fronts. Certainly, entering the kingdom of God is like being born again as one becomes a new creation filled with life. But have you ever considered that this metaphor also speaks to the experience of believers being exiled from their old way of life?
Peter did. When he began his letter to a church that was being ostracized because of their faith, he chose to use the “born again” image to encourage them not to conform to their former ways of living.
Let’s read how he uses this image in these verses.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)
Did you catch the picture? Being “born again” involves being born into something – “a living hope.” It also includes being born out of something – “from the dead.” Like a newborn baby, the new life it has after birth will be completely different than the life it had in the womb. Can you imagine a baby trying to live as if it is still in the womb? That would be nonsensical.
But, as Christians, we live with the constant temptation to return to a life that conforms to our old ways of moving and breathing. Especially since we are surrounded by a culture that resists and even persecutes those that live in such a way that challenges and calls into question the status quo. Being a Christian in this world is to live in exile. We are no longer at home in the womb of this world.
But that does not mean we do not belong. We belong to our heavenly Father, and we belong to a new family of brothers and sisters who live together in his love. Our new life of freedom lived in the light is beyond compare to the dark and restrictive life we once had.
So, if you sometimes feel like an exile in this world. Take courage and live in hope. It comes with the territory of being born again.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.